Chris Kissack wrote:Thomas wrote:Thirdly, I don't understand the usefulness of a discourse on how the wine would taste if the winemaker had done something differently. I suppose films can be re-edited, the 'director's cut', and ballets produced differently, with different interpretations of the story, a different choreographer, but wines can't be remade. The next vintage things can be done differently, sure, but it's a new vintage, and the wine is a whole new story. To comment on what might have been is of academic interest to a tiny minority, I suspect, and useful for those learning how to make wine, certainly, but for those wanting to buy, cellar and drink?
Victor de la Serna wrote:Reporting should be objective, or at least aim for the highest level of objectivity. Criticism is not reporting. It is subjective. Me, I read certain literary, art and wine critics because I'm aware of the fact they're touting books, paintings and wines they like, and I tend to agree with their tastes - or to disagree so consistently that I know that I'll probably like what they dislike. So subjectivity, IMHO, is an integral part of any sort of criticism. What I cannot stand is an ignorant critic, or one without any talent.
Thomas wrote:I have met a few wine critics who got their newspaper gigs because 1. a general reader interest in wine made the publication's editor perk up and 2. in each case, the critic was given the assignment to save money on hiring another journalist and because the editor knew that the new critic liked and drank wine.
Robin Garr wrote:Thomas wrote:I have met a few wine critics who got their newspaper gigs because 1. a general reader interest in wine made the publication's editor perk up and 2. in each case, the critic was given the assignment to save money on hiring another journalist and because the editor knew that the new critic liked and drank wine.
For the record, that is exactly how I got into the wine writing trade.
My opinion, formed by my own experience just as yours is, Thomas, is that a general journalist is well positioned to take on just about any form of criticism because he or she is trained by profession to be an accurate observer and a good communicator. Few great restaurant critics are chefs (although some of us have spent time in the back and front of the house); few theater critics trod the boards; many sports writers were woeful athletes; and, frankly, few great wine critics were professional wine makers.
I kind of admire your chutzpah in establishing a criterion for wine critics that fits you well and hardly anybody else but in the real world, good critics learn their field well and communicate about it clearly; professional experience at the subject of criticism is rarely seen and, I could argue, might actually limit a critic's capability to rise above his own prejudices and think creatively.
Daniel Rogov wrote:
---With special regard to the use of the word chutzpah, let it be known that in Hebrew usage the term is always negative (implying unmitigated gall) but in Yiddish it can be either positive or negative (on the positive side implying spunk, guts, go-get-it-ship). And as some of us meet over wine in the future, I can tell a few (I promise, only a few) very good jokes about chutzpah.
Daniel Rogov wrote:- I think too many critics mistakenly think that their standards should be the standards of their readers.
- I think that not enough critics are open themselves to being criticized.
- I think there is a not insignificant number of critics who think whatever they write was dictated on Mount Sinai.
from the human shields
I've tasted with one of CA state wine competition judges where even pointing out a seriously tainted bottle (blind setup again with raging TCA taking place), she still picked it as her number 1 of the flight and night.
Stuart Yaniger wrote:TCA sensitivity is quite variable and doesn't necessarily correlate to other tasting abilities. I have a friend who's an MW, clearly quite able to repeatably and accurately taste and judge, but he just cannot get TCA.
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